OK of Big Broadband grant means real work can begin

Now the work begins.

Officials from Urbana, Champaign and the University of Illinois are expected to meet this week to work on plans for the Big Broadband fiber-optic network that will bring high-speed Internet to the twin cities and campus.

$15 million from U,S. will go to UI for improving security of electronic medical records

URBANA – The University of Illinois has won a $15 million federal grant to help improve the security of electronic medical records.

MTD foresees benefits - from better security cameras to outdoor screens for schedules - in joining broadband consortium

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District board Wednesday formally committed the MTD to the Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband Consortium.

The MTD will pay $339,102 to become part of the group, plus an annual fiber maintenance charge of $24,910 during the 20-year term of the agreement.

Fiber-optic installation may begin next year

URBANA – Acceptance of a $22.5 million federal grant by Urbana City Council members Monday means that local officials can now begin the hard work – actually building a fiber-optic network.

Urbana company explores new twists in refrigeration, air conditioning

URBANA – Creative Thermal Solutions has been around only seven years, but already the Urbana-based company has made a mark.

The firm, which works on dozens of air-conditioning and refrigeration projects, employs 30 people, many of them highly educated researchers.

Champaign council accepts Big Broadband grant

Updated at 9 p.m. CHAMPAIGN -- Look out, Comcast. The city of Champaign says it's ready to get into the broadband business.

In an anticipated vote, the Champaign City Council voted 7-1 to accept a $22.5 million federal grant to lay the infrastructure for a high-speed Internet network. The only dissenting vote came from Mayor Jerry Schweighart.

Champaign council to have say before final vote in Urbana on broadband grant

URBANA – Officials in Urbana Monday were anxious to hear whether council members across Wright Street in Champaign will accept a $22.5 million federal grant to build a Big Broadband fiber optic Internet network.

The National Telecommunications and Information Agency awarded the grant for the below-ground fiber optic network to a consortium consisting of Champaign, Urbana and the University of Illinois.

Champaign City Council to vote on Big Broadband this week

CHAMPAIGN – The city council on Tuesday is expected to make a final decision on "Big Broadband," and the vote could determine whether the Champaign-Urbana high-speed Internet network will continue or be buried.

The council is schedule to vote on the project during its regular meeting Tuesday night at 7 in the City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

Maryland consultant Doug Dawson will travel to Champaign for the meeting to answer questions council members have about the project.

Comcast customers, watch your mail for digital equipment information

Comcast customers in East Central Illinois with "standard" cable service can begin ordering digital equipment from the cable company this week.

Without the equipment, customers with standard service will lose access to Comcast's "expanded basic" lineup (mostly on channels 23 to 70) when it goes digital Nov. 30.

Comcast customers will receive letters this week regarding the change, company spokesman Rich Ruggiero said. The letters include a "unique digital ID number" they'll need.

Broadband proposal gains support in Urbana City Council

URBANA – Council members in Urbana appeared Monday night to want a $22.5 milion federal grant for construction of a Big Broadband fiber optic network and $3 million for additional public computer center and sustainability grants.

Council members agreed without dissent to authorize the mayor to reaffirm support for the broadband project.

However, Mayor Laurel Prussing said the council will need more time to study the grants and will not vote on the issue next week.

More information can be found in Tuesday's News-Gazette.